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Berkshire bicyclist rides London-Paris on a tandem called ‘Graham’

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They’re a bike made for two but Newbury resident James Avison proved that one pair of legs can work just as well on a tandem!

On the same weekend that Geraint Thomas won the Tour De France, the 46-year-old Company Director completed a 351 mile bike ride from London to Paris for children’s charity Action Medical Research.

“It was an interesting challenge” admits the married father of two. “The first 345 miles were the hardest but once we got to Paris it was a breeze!”

Action is a UK-wide children’s charity which funds desperately needed research to tackle the diseases that devastate the lives of so many of our children.

The charity organises a number of fundraising cycling events across the UK each year and 2018 saw the 19th annual London-Paris ride. It also happened to bring with it some of the most severe weather conditions ever experienced by the team with temperatures exceeding 42C!

James has supported Action for around a decade and wanted to raise £3,000 for completing the challenge:

“I chose to support Action Medical Research because their work is so broad - something for everyone you might say.

“Their fundraising goes to fund research projects looking at a variety of childhood conditions. In that sense, it affects us all whether we have children, or know children, or plan children or - at the very least - were once children!”

James rode a Dawes Super Galaxy bike from around 1985, built from sturdy Reynolds 531 tubing with V-brakes and a hub brake too.

Action’s Head of Events Emma Morgan accompanied the cyclists on their ride to Paris and says James was an inspiration:

“There’s always a great atmosphere on our rides and that’s really down to our amazing supporters.

“James was absolutely brilliant! That bike was really heavy and cumbersome so he won a lot of respect from the other riders. We’d like to thank James for everything he has done to help Action.”

So far the collective total raised by the riders on this year’s London to Paris exceeds £100,000 with donations still coming in.

Action Medical Research has been funding medical breakthroughs since it began in 1952 including helping to introduce the first polio vaccines in the UK, developing the use of ultrasound in pregnancy and testing the rubella vaccine.

The charity is currently funding research into areas including premature birth, epilepsy, asthma, scarlet fever, cerebral palsy, brain cancer and some rare and distressing conditions.





James named the bike Graham in memory of the man whose family sold it on E-Bay.

You can see his fundraising page here

If you would like to speak with James please contact Peter Denton (details below).


To download a photo of James:


For more information on Action Medical Research contact Peter Denton, Fundraising Communications Officer, on:

T: 01403 327412

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Action Medical Research is a leading UK-wide charity saving and changing children’s lives through medical research. For more than 65 years we’ve helped pioneer ways to prevent disease and develop treatments benefiting millions of people. Our research has helped to beat polio in the UK, develop ultrasound in pregnancy, fight meningitis and prevent stillbirths. But we urgently need to develop more new treatments and cures for sick babies and children and we can’t do it without you.

Join our fight for little lives today.

Charity reg. nos 208701 and SC039284.